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Future-Proofing Your Charity: Picking a CRM That Grows With You

Chris Houghton
March 1, 2024

Welcome to an era where charities aren't just making a difference; they're shaping the future. In this dynamic landscape, your secret weapon isn't a cape-wearing superhero; it's a savvy CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Buckle up as we explore why choosing a great charity CRM that grooves with your growth plan is your ticket to making waves in the realm of good deeds. Let's dive in!

Understanding the Evolution of CRM: From Contact Lists to Growth Partners

Remember when fundraising CRMs were glorified rolodexes? Fast forward to today, and they're the maestros orchestrating seamless operations. Your charity isn't static, and your CRM shouldn't be either. It's a growth partner, not just a data storage solution. 

Do we need a new CRM? Signs of Growing Pains

Feeling drowned in endless manual tasks? Are you jumping between spreadsheets and platforms to find the big picture? Is your current fundraising CRM doing the limbo instead of giving you real-time insights? Do you feel your data isn’t fully reliable? If you're nodding along, here’s your blinking neon sign saying, "Upgrade Me!" Let's explore why. 

Adapting to Current and Future Needs: Creating Your CRM Shopping List

Picture this: You're at the tech supermarket, basket in hand, ready to shop for a nonprofit CRM that caters to the ‘now’ and the future. You’ve written down your external functions — fundraising, case management, events, marketing, grantmaking, and the internal ones — campaign reporting, finance processing, volunteer coordination. You name it, it's all on your shopping list.

If you need pointers for this step, we've written a full guide to help you evaluate charity CRMs - the basics, identifying your needs, the questions to ask providers, features to look for and red flags to avoid. You can grab your copy here

Beyond the Basics: Features That Make Your Charity Dazzle

Look for features that wow supporters, like:

  • Automation tools for smooth operating - volunteers are thanked instantly, tasks are created and assigned to your team, donations are collected, coded and processed automatically, reporting dashboards are updated in real time. Robots are doing the heavy lifting, what will you fill all of that free time with? 
  • Integration capabilities with cool tools like Enthuse, Mailchimp and Xero - all of your data, from every platform you use, in one place. Easily accessible, reliable and actionable. 
  • Customisation options for that perfect fit - charities, like the lovely folks running them, come in many shapes and sizes. Don’t settle for a baggy suit, the best nonprofit CRM for your organisation will have you thinking “this was built just for us!”. 

Ensuring Vendor Compatibility: Dating Your CRM Provider

Choosing a CRM provider can feel like dating. You want commitment, shared values, brilliant support and to know they're in it for the long haul - a partner in crime (the good kind of crime, that is)! 

Our top CRM provider dating questions: 

  • What's your growth plan for the next 5 - 10 years?
  • How often do you spruce up the product with new features and updates? 
  • Do you work with charities our size and in our sector? 
  • How can you ensure my data is always secure? 
  • Are your fees transparent? (Maybe don’t ask this one on a real date)

Navigating Future Trends: Surfing the Tech Wave

In a world where technology changes faster than you can say "unicorn," your CRM needs to keep pace. Look for: 

  • Cloud-based platforms so you can get work done anywhere, any time
  • Fort Knox-level data security for GDPR-grade peace of mind
  • A knack for mingling with emerging technologies
  • A team of tech experts pulling the strings behind the scenes, ensuring you’ve always got the best tools available
  • Best-in-class customer support, and learning resources, so your team are always equipped to do their best work

Your Charity's Odyssey Starts with a Future-Ready CRM

Choosing a CRM isn't a chore; it's your charity's voyage into a future where impact knows no bounds. Anticipate growth, embrace current needs, and ride the wave of industry trends. Your CRM isn't just a tool; it's your charity's co-pilot on the journey to fulfil your mission. Godspeed!

Curious why Beacon is the #1 rated CRM for charities for four years running? Why wouldn’t you be! Find out for yourself with a free 14 day trial. Or reach out to our friendly team for a chat. Thanks for stopping by 👋